Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Vitamin D - Do You Need Extra?

Landscape, Scenic, Water, Reflection I've been hearing comments recently that most people do not get enough Vitamin D in their diet.  My doctor recommended I take a supplement, especially during the winter.  Since I started taking it, I no longer get a nasty rash on my inner elbow in the winter.

Vitamin D is referred to as the "Sunshine Vitamin" because its produced in your skin as a response to sunlight so when you are outside in the summer you are producing it.  Up here in Alaska, we are covered from head to toe so we do not get exposed to the sunlight.  I fall into the category of needing to supplement due to lack of exposure.

You may be wondering what's so important about getting enough Vitamin D?  Well aside from aiding in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, it also helps with the immune system, and development of strong teeth and bones.

According to several studies, Vitamin D may reduce your risk of heart disease, risk of multiple sclerosis, and decrease your chances of getting the flu.  In addition, it appears that this vitamin can help regulate moods and decrease the possibility of depression.

It is recommended that you expose your skin to the sun for 10 minutes a day before you apply the sunscreen because that can block your production of Vitamin D.  Furthermore, pollution, being indoors, and living around tall buildings can interfere with Vitamin D production.  This can be helped by eating a diet including salmon, sardines, egg yolks and juices that have been fortified with the vitamin.  If you have darker skin or are older, your body may not be producing as much as you need.

It is recommended you take between 1000 and 2000 mg per day by mouth and if you take too high a does it is possible to have calcium accumulate in the blood which could cause kidney stones. 

I cannot suggest you supplement with this vitamin but if you think you are deficient, see your doctor and check with him or her.  Have a nice day and let me know what you think!

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